Friday, December 2, 2011

Sew Easy part 13 : Hot chocolate skirt

Sew Easy Tutorial: Box Pleated Skirt

You can read the story behind this series and the first part here. Click here to read the secondthirdfourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth,  eleventh and twelfth edition of this series.

I was searching for something else in my stash when I found this scrap of really nice corduroy. Of course I had thought it would make a nice skirt for little one and of course I forgot all about it. So instead of putting it back there and forgetting about it once again, I put everything else aside and got to work with the scrap. The result is this Hot chocolate skirt. It was super quick, I actually had company when I made this and my guest was surprised that I made it so quickly.
Here's the skinny:

Corduroy or some other heavyweight fabric: half yard
Elastic : 1 inch wide for the waist: 15 inches
Heavy fabric scraps in a coordinating color: 2-3


Length: Your desired length + 2.5 inches: L
Width: Measure your little one at the widest part from waist down ( tummy or butt)
Add 5 inches to it and divide by 2 : W



Cut to rectangles of length L and width W. If your fabric still has selvage with it use it to reduce your work. Cut the rectangle such that the two selvage ends fall on the same side when you sew the side seams. Actually in this skirt these seams are not the side seams but front center and back center seams.


Sew two seams along  both L sides.

 While sewing these seams ( right sides together) Leave about 3-4 inches unsewn at the bottom of selvage side. If you don't have selvage side in your fabric, don't worry, you could always finish the edges. If you look at the left bottom corner, you can see the part I left unsewn.

Sew another seam at the right side from top to the bottom. 

3. Making the front pleat

To make the pleat at the front sew about 5-7 inches long seam about 1.5 inches from the earlier seam at the top right side. It should be parallel to right ( actually front center) seam.


The smaller seam that you just did will make a partial tube at the front. Now just flatten this tube such that the smaller seam falls on the front-center seam. Now sew a rectangle around this seam such that the smaller seam is smack in the center of the rectangle and the rectangle lies within the flattened tube. Also make sure the length of this rectangle is only up to the smaller seam.
Since it is difficult to see the seams in the original pic, I edited it and the black lines in the above pic is the rectangle I was talking about.

Still Confused?
Here's another tutorial on sewing box pleats. For this skirt you just have to make sure that the original seam ( the longer one) stays right in the center of the pleat.

This is how box pleat will look at the outside.

4. Hem the skirt

Finish the unsewn part of the center back seam by folding and sewing down the fabric at the seam allowance. I didn't have to do it because I cut at the selvage so my edges were already finished, I just folded them and took them in while finishing the hemline.
Hem the skirt by folding the fabric twice and sewing ( seam allowance 1/4 inch).


Prepare the elastic casing by folding the fabric at the top about quarter inch and sewing and then folding again about 1.5 inch and sewing. Leave two one inch gaps in the seam on either side of the skirt, because we are making this skirt flat front.


 Insert the elastic from one gap and take it out from another. Pull the elastic a bit to gather the back of the skirt. I highly recommend holding the elastic with some safety pins and trying on the child at this point to check that the skirt is snug but not uncomfortable.


 Sew the elastic down to the skirt at both ends. I use stitch 1-14 shown above but if your machine doesn't have it any zigzag stitch will do. Go over each side 3-4 times for additional strength.


For appliques I cut out some flowers from another baby cord fabric and just sewn them without any interfacing. If you don't want the hassle of interfacing etc, make sure you use a heavier fabric like denim, corduroy etc. I just sew the
regular stitch to fix these to the skirt but I guess zig-zag would work better. I also applied some fray check on the boundary of these appliques to reduce fraying in the wash, but I'm guessing that their circular shape will anyway help reduce fraying.

Just like that, "The Hot chocolate skirt"

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  1. Adorable! I love corduroy skirts!

    Here from Someday Crafts!

  2. Adorable! I love corduroy skirts! The pleat and appliques are so cute!

    Here from Someday Crafts!

  3. Awww! Love the chocolate brown! I have made quite a few skirts for my girls but I love the front of this, I'm bookmarking so I can try it out, thanks!

  4. I just pinned this in hopes that I'll be able to make one for my daughter after the Christmas madness has passed. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love the autumn, chocolate brown color. Perfect for late tea party with my girls :)


Leave some sugar :)